A single, 68,000 m.w. glycoprotein antigen from adult Schistosoma mansoni was purified by immunoaffinity chromatography with the use of a newly developed, protective, anti-schistosome murine monoclonal antibody. Immunization with two doses of 0.5 microgram or 1 microgram of purified antigen, without adjuvants, afforded a mean 28% reduction in parasite recovery in CF1 mice, and 2-% reduction in parasite BALB/c mice. On immunoblotting, the 68,000 m.w. antigen was common to S. mansoni adults and schistosomula, whereas parasite eggs contained only cross-reacting low m.w. antigens of 19,100 and 16,000. Immunization resulted in the development of anti-antigen antibody and enhanced immediate cutaneous hypersensitivity to the 31-3B6 antigen. By contrast, delayed-type hypersensitivity and sensitization to circumoval granuloma formation were not observed in immunized mice. It was concluded that the 68,000 m.w. 31-3B6 antigen represents a candidate vaccine for adjuvant-free immunization against S. mansoni.

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